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Reward for info about absconding newspaper owner to be raised

Press Trust of India  |  Indore 

The Madhya Pradesh police said on Friday that the reward for information about absconding newspaper owner Jitendra Soni will be raised to Rs 1 lakh from Rs 30,000.

Soni had run several sensational stories in his evening newspaper 'Sanjha Lokswami', based on audio-video tapes purportedly featuring some influential persons involved in a honey-trap racket busted by the police some weeks ago.

Soni, who runs a hotel and a night club, has now as many as 24 cases registered against him, including those of human trafficking.

On Sunday, the police searched his properties, but he was untraceable.

"We had announced a reward of Rs 30,000 for his whereabouts. We have initiated the process to raise it to Rs 1 lakh," Senior Superintendent of Police Ruchivardhan Mishra told reporters here.

She dismissed reports that Soni had surrendered before the police in Maharashtra.

Before registration of criminal cases against him last week, Soni's newspaper had published scandalous reports about senior bureaucrats and politicians allegedly involved in the honey-trap case.

The case relates to an alleged racket which 'honey- trapped' and blackmailed politicians and bureaucrats. Six persons have been arrested in the case.

SSP Mishra also informed that one Ravindra Pandit registered a case under IPC sections 420 (cheating) and 467 (forgery) against Soni at Thane in Maharashtra on Thursday.

The FIR alleged that the Indore Development Authority had allotted a plot in 1987 to Pandit's newspaper Dainik Naveen, but because of business problems he had to leave Indore.

Soni, with the help of one Ravindra Nigam, allegedly grabbed this land and set up the office of his newspaper there, Pandit alleged.

This property has been now sealed by the administration, Mishra said.

Besides, the declaration submitted by Soni's newspaper under the Press and Registration of Books Act has been cancelled, she added.

The SSP also informed that the process to confiscate Soni's alleged illegal properties in Maharashtra and Gujarat besides Madhya Pradesh has been set in motion.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, December 06 2019. 20:25 IST